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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-20-05, 06:19 PM   #1
bettergears
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I got hit by a car two weeks ago. Wrecked my front wheel and bent my fork. Fortunately I got the woman's insurance info. and she agreed to pay for the damage (and actually did). I was only a block away from a LBS and I took my now smashed up bike in. They said they charge $25 for an "accident check" plus whatever costs to repair it. Fine. They said it looks like they can straighten the fork and put a new wheel on and I'd be back in business. Fine.
Two weeks later I call and see if it's ready yet. They say they're waiting on the front wheel. Fine. I asked if a total was available since they were just waiting for a wheel at this point, because I would like to inform the woman that is paying for this and give her time to get the money in the mail. They gave me a total and said everything was fine, they just needed a wheel. Fine. I call the woman who sends the money. All is well. Hooray! The best possible outcome after being hit. Everything is fine.

Everything was not fine.

I went to get the bike, test rode it, and the left crank was REALLY bent and so was my saddle. A well loved B17 narrow now slanting hard to the left. Hello, what the heck is this? I waited around to talk to the owner. He offered to sell me a new left crank. I said this is not the problem, the problem is I was given a total of the damages and my bike was fixed. It is clearly not fixed. He then proceeded to tell me that I should be happy to be well, some people die in bike accidents, and told me to go to another shop that would bend the seat back, since his shop and mechanics would not. The other shop would also sell me a used crank to replace the bent one.

What!?!?

Thanks for letting me rant. I really needed that. I am so freaking angry. Ok, moving on to the questions:

Can my crank be straightened? It is the orignal Raleigh stamped crankset that came with the bike ('77 Super Course) and I'd love to keep it. If not, shouldn't I buy a new crankset and not just a mismatched left crank? And then there's getting a BB to work on the Raleigh threads AND the new cranks. Any suggestions? And, am I wrong here, but if a saddle is bent is it not also damaged? If a shop refuses to fix it, does that not make it broken and part of the damages??? Now that it is my problem how do I go about straightening it? Is it unsafe, is that why they refused to do it?

I really appreciate any feedback or suggestions. I feel really bewildered. I really expected more from my LBS. Thanks for any comments.
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Old 11-20-05, 06:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bettergears
I got hit by a car two weeks ago. Wrecked my front wheel and bent my fork. Fortunately I got the woman's insurance info. and she agreed to pay for the damage (and actually did). I was only a block away from a LBS and I took my now smashed up bike in. They said they charge $25 for an "accident check" plus whatever costs to repair it. Fine. They said it looks like they can straighten the fork and put a new wheel on and I'd be back in business. Fine.
Two weeks later I call and see if it's ready yet. They say they're waiting on the front wheel. Fine. I asked if a total was available since they were just waiting for a wheel at this point, because I would like to inform the woman that is paying for this and give her time to get the money in the mail. They gave me a total and said everything was fine, they just needed a wheel. Fine. I call the woman who sends the money. All is well. Hooray! The best possible outcome after being hit. Everything is fine.

Everything was not fine.

I went to get the bike, test rode it, and the left crank was REALLY bent and so was my saddle. A well loved B17 narrow now slanting hard to the left. Hello, what the heck is this? I waited around to talk to the owner. He offered to sell me a new left crank. I said this is not the problem, the problem is I was given a total of the damages and my bike was fixed. It is clearly not fixed. He then proceeded to tell me that I should be happy to be well, some people die in bike accidents, and told me to go to another shop that would bend the seat back, since his shop and mechanics would not. The other shop would also sell me a used crank to replace the bent one.

What!?!?

Thanks for letting me rant. I really needed that. I am so freaking angry. Ok, moving on to the questions:

Can my crank be straightened? It is the orignal Raleigh stamped crankset that came with the bike ('77 Super Course) and I'd love to keep it. If not, shouldn't I buy a new crankset and not just a mismatched left crank? And then there's getting a BB to work on the Raleigh threads AND the new cranks. Any suggestions? And, am I wrong here, but if a saddle is bent is it not also damaged? If a shop refuses to fix it, does that not make it broken and part of the damages??? Now that it is my problem how do I go about straightening it? Is it unsafe, is that why they refused to do it?

I really appreciate any feedback or suggestions. I feel really bewildered. I really expected more from my LBS. Thanks for any comments.
Downer....but maybe they will share some of their carpet with you.
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Old 11-20-05, 06:43 PM   #3
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It is hard to bend a crank. Are you sure the frame isn't bent near the bottom bracket?
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Old 11-20-05, 07:04 PM   #4
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Geezzz, I've had pretty good luck straightening many crank arms using a big bench vise, pipe wrenches, helper bars, 9 lb sledge hammer, and in a couple of cases a hydro press and proper jigging. Maybe, not pretty, or OEM profile, but rideable.
One of my favorate rides is a '78 Raleigh Super Grand Prix (next step down the food chain from your SC), so I hope you can get squared away.
I don't know enough about Brooks saddles to have an opinion, but the Ideale on my Raleigh looks as if you could lossen the tension on the cover and straighten the rods as necessary.
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Old 11-20-05, 07:07 PM   #5
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It is hard to bend a crank. Are you sure the frame isn't bent near the bottom bracket?
My God I hope not. It doesn't ride that way. The rear triangle appears straight. The rear wheel is centered. The right crank feels straight when pedalling well. The end of the left crank appears bent and the left pedal moves well and appears straight but the crank moves and appears bent. They also overhauled the BB so I have to assume the spindle is straight. Right feels fine left feels bad when pedalling.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:18 AM   #6
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Holy *****, they charged $25 for an "accident check" and did not notice two obvious things? I would have been asking my money back and dropped the LBS from my list of places I go to...

Ideally, both the saddle and both crank arms should be changed, but now the lady has received a smaller figure as a total... It's a pretty delicate situation.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:45 AM   #7
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Bent cranks are bad news. Ive had a crank bend by a car collision. My LBS did the check for free and replaced anything that they suspected may be damaged.
Cranks align the pedal. If your crank is bent, the pedal axle with wobble as it rotates, causeing damage to your knee.
A bent crank may be weakened. Cranks can and do crack and this is one of the nastier ways a bike fails. You suddenly find your feet hitting the ground at high speed with a jagged edge of metal spinning around. Dont take chances with cranks.
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Old 11-21-05, 11:02 AM   #8
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I would not trust this shop. They obviously did not do a proper check. If they can't see bent cranks, they are not going to see anything else. I would take it to a shop where they have the proper tools to measure the fork and frames for straightness, a shop that basically knows what they are doing, because these guys don't seem to.

I also question the choice of straightening the fork. If this is an insurance claim, if there is any doubt, the part should be replaced with a new part.

I would tell the woman what is going on, that you are not happy with the repair shop and that you are going to another. If she balks, tell her you will make a claim directly with her insurance co. She will probably pay because she does not want the ins to know about the accident because she is afraid her rates will go up.
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Old 11-24-05, 09:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Apparently the owner is more worried about selling Bromptons then he is about fixing bikes that are already on the road. I guess its up to me to fix my own bike properly. Thanks Philly LBS!
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Old 11-24-05, 10:29 AM   #10
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at least this didn't happen to you while you were riding... (and no, it wasn't fun)





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Old 11-24-05, 10:35 AM   #11
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EEEK! How did that happen????
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Old 11-25-05, 01:03 AM   #12
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Last Winter I hit an icy spot & the fall bent the Aerox crank on my Centurion Pro Tour. I put a Spare Sugino crank arm on & kept commuting but was bummed out like you as I really liked the looks of the original crank arms. My local shop owner noticed the mismatch one day & mentioned he had a tool that could straighten the old crank but no gaurantees for longevity. Aside from a small mark, looks & feels good as new, I ride the bike regularly with no problems. Charged me $5.00! Don
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Old 12-04-05, 09:45 PM   #13
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Thanks for your replies. After putting on a new left crank I still had some serious wobble. Took it to another shop who determined the spindle was actually bent along with the crank. New bottom bracket goes in soon, and we'll see what's what. Thanks, and safe riding to eveybody.
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Old 12-06-05, 12:16 AM   #14
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That shop pretty much sucks if they are trying to charge you $25 bucks to lok over your bike. My shop is on the expensive end and will still look it over for free...new shop time!
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Old 12-06-05, 09:59 AM   #15
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I'm curious- what bike shop failed to notice your bad saddle and crank?
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Old 12-06-05, 10:07 AM   #16
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If you had someone willing to pay for damages why wouldn't you just get a new bike?

Enjoy
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